Oil spill in Nigeria: Shell compensates communities

Oil giant Shell agreed on Wednesday to pay 45.9 billion Naira to communities in southeastern Nigeria whose land was ravaged by oil spills in the 1970s, according to lawyers for both sides.

Environmental NGOs, including the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), have accused Shell for more than 20 years of environmental degradation and negligence in Ogoni town, a region of the Niger Delta with mangroves devastated by oil pollution.

“The order to pay 45.9 billion Naira to the plaintiffs is to fully and finally satisfy the judgment,” Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), said in a statement.

Shell was first convicted in 2010, but the company had repeatedly challenged the judgment, to no avail. The company finally reached a settlement in the Abuja High Court of Justice with the community on Wednesday.

In 2015, Shell agreed to pay $70 million in compensation to some 15,500 residents in Ogoniland and agreed to begin cleaning up an oil spill in 2008, although the company has always maintained that artisanal sabotage of pipelines by residents was the primary cause of pollution.

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